"You Can Live With Me"
Since I was a little girl of age three, I have always had the mind that we should all be able to live under one roof without problems because from my three year old perspective, all problems were solvable. Seeing homeless people eat out of trash cans, lay on street benches or cuddled under bridges to protect themselves from the elements and even hearing of homeless persons dying in the streets always brought anguish and discomfort to me. I wondered where their families were and how such things could happen. My body physically throbbed with pain when I thought of the emotional, mental and physical discomforts the homeless encountered daily.
One day, when I was about age five, I decided that I had the answer to end homelessness and world hunger. Rushing into the kitchen where my mother was seated at the dinner table, I said to her, “Mommy, we should let all the homeless people live with us…AND, we can feed them too.” My mom looked at me with warm eyes, as if she knew my pain, but her mouth uttered, “Stacie, we can’t just bring strangers into our house. Some of them are sick, dirty and we can’t trust just anyone. I’m not willing to jeopardize your safety or the safety of your brothers and sisters.”
I stood firmly planted on my legs and looked at my mother with an indescribable disappointment. Her words cut deep into the core of my soul. Although I was hurt I continued to plead my case for the homeless. “Ma, I’m not afraid. They won’t hurt us if we take care of them. They will be grateful just like you tell us to be when you feed us, clean us and give us new clothes. I know we only have a little bit of money and our house is not that big but they can sleep in my bed. I will lie on the floor and I will watch them. We can find their families and then take them home. Plus, you always make big pots of soup and it’s always left overs for three days. We can share our soup!”
My mom turned away and began to fiddle with the items on the table. In a low grumble my mother said, “Stac, we can’t do that.” Just as I began to respond in a whiny voice, “but ma-meeeee”, my mother turned to me and said, “NO! N-O- and that’s it. Don’t say anything else about it.” I was crushed! I walked away with my head down, tears filling and flowing like rivers from my eyes. I was disappointed, hurt, angry and just plain sad that people had the means to help others but were just too selfish and afraid to do so.
Today, as I sit at my dining room table, bundled with my big, fluffy, comfortable robe, meditating about the place in which I sit, I am reminded from whence I’ve come. Growing up near Cherry Hill, in Westport, to the upgrading of a single family house in Govans Towne, to beginning my family in Essex, onto the purchase of a home in West Baltimore, to living from pillar to post with no place to call home, to living in a women’s and children’s transitional home and now to living in my own apartment in Owings Mills...How blessed am I to have experienced the discomfort of being homeless. Why blessed you ask? The blessing comes as a reminder to keep my doors open without fear or selfishness because it wasn’t hard to fall into hard times with such predicaments to face.
If you think your current situation or discomforts are something, just imagine being on the streets when the temperatures drop below freezing. Imagine your family and friends abandoning you. Imagine being too ashamed to tell anyone that you’re facing hard times. Imagine truly being hungry, against your own wishes for seven days and seven nights until someone found it in their hearts to feed you.
I plead with you and today, to do more and Count your blessings because in the words of five year old Stacie, “…All the homeless people can live with us and we can feed them too.”
" I must not think only of myself but try to think of the other fellow, too, and what is best for him"
- 1 Corinthians 10:24
- 1 Corinthians 10:24
"I am blessed and I am a blessing to people. I dispense good to others" - Genesis 12:2